We aren’t stuck with our factory settings

We aren’t stuck with our factory settings.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Mika Baumeister

What are your favorite digital distractions?

How much time do you spend on your computer, TV, or cell phone?

To what degree do you accept the factory settings installed on your devices? In what ways have you taken the time to customize the settings to your preferences?

Looking beyond technology, where else might there be “factory settings” within your world?

Consider all the programing installed without your knowledge throughout your personal world, including family dynamics and your schooling.

What about your work life including its culture, organizational rules and guidelines—not to mention the good old job description?


In what ways can you take a closer look at the factory settings established in your personal and professional communities?

What adjustments can you make to help you lead a more colorful and vibrant life?

“Distractions! Let them come. Let them be. Let them go.”

“Distractions! Let them come. Let them be. Let them go.”

Culadasa, former director of the Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha

Image from Unsplash by Nubelson Fernandes

How many people and things are competing for your attention each day?

How many are welcome, and how many divert you from your desired paths?

Where and how do you have control — or at least significant influence — on what enters your direct and peripheral attention?

Imagine you were a healthcare professional in an emergency department, caring for people who showed up at the door. How would you triage individuals with critical needs versus those with only minor difficulties?

In each case, determining who gets immediate care and admitted to the hospital and who gets sent home is what’s important.


How do you triage the distractions that enter your world?

How would your own mental and physical health benefit from a more clearly defined method to do this?

Friday Review: Distractions


Are you easily distracted? Here are a few related quotes you may have missed.

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”




“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is easy to miss.”



“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save. They just stand there, shining.




“Remove the mental candy from your environment.”

“Remove the mental candy from your environment.”

—James Clear, author, entrepreneur, and photographer

Image from Unsplash by Amit Lahav

When was the last time you visited the dentist? If you are like many, the idea of opening your mouth for an hour and having someone  poking around in there seems foolhardy.

I’ve been even more diligent this past year in brushing and flossing, and have avoided popcorn with its frequent rock-hard kernels that are often the source of a dental emergency.

A few of us may even be cutting back on sweets but my guess is that with the need for comfort this year, both actual sweets and a few extra servings of mental candy may have caused some decay.


What sources of mental candy are most readily available in your environment? How can you avoid their enticing and addictive qualities by putting them out of reach or eliminating some completely?

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”

—Hillaire Belloc, 20th Century British-French writer and historian

Image from Unsplash by Anastasia Petrova

To what degree are you a wanderer or a traveler? Since most of us are not using trains, planes, or automobiles as often as usual, consider taking a look at your media and social media journeys.

How often do you find yourself surfing the web and giving your remote a workout to fill the time and distract you from boredom or the hard realities we are all facing in this pandemic?

Alternatively, how are you planning your days with intention and focus, to travel paths toward specific destinations and goals?


Where and how would more traveling and less wandering through your days lead to a more fulfilling life?

What one specific action will you take today to begin this journey?

“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life,

“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is easy to miss.”

—Boris Pasternak, 20th Century Russian poet & novelist

Image from Unsplash by Rodion Kutsaev

I recently learned that our average level of digital engagement nearly tripled between 2007 to 2017.

Surprisingly, other aspects of our daily activities, such as sleeping, working, and commuting, have remained fairly stable.

We can all point to many positive aspects of our digital world, including increasing productivity, however more of us are now paying the price for this lack of digital well-being.


Mark Ostach, a Digital Well-Being Coach, suggests the following actions we can take to capture more of the “knocks on our doors” we may be missing:

  1. No digital gadgets at mealtime.
  2. Sleep device-free. Get a real alarm clock.
  3. Take a digital fast at least one hour each day.
  4. Make eye contact when talking.
  5. End your digital day one hour before bedtime.
  6. Go outside and get some fresh air.


Friday Review of posts on distraction

Friday Review: Distractions

Are you easily distracted? Here are a few distraction-related quotes you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.


“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save. They just stand there, shining.”




“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”





“Starve Your Distractions. Feed Your Focus.”





Starve Your Distractions Feed Your Focus

“Starve Your Distractions. Feed Your Focus.”

—Author Unknown

Image of More/Less, Start/Stop graphic

You are what you eat.

In terms of today’s quote, I am not referring to kale, flax seeds, or salmon.

We are becoming an increasingly ADHD society, in which the “shiny object syndrome” is more prevalent than ever. Take a few moments right now for a careful look at the many things that seek your attention.

The payoff with the wide variety of distractions seems to be some form of pleasure, instant gratification, or an escape from life’s difficulties. Sometimes it’s for twenty seconds for a social media fix, or thirty minutes for a sitcom.

The cost for all of us is the lack or diminishment of our fullest potential on both the personal and professional fronts. Because everyone seems to be engaged in these activities, and we all want to fit in, we unfortunately accept this “dumbing down” of our focus as “normal.”


Consider using the More, Less, Start, Stop strategy today, to feed your focus and starve your distractions.

For those who wish to make this a habit, engage the support of others for at least the next month, so the benefits you desire will become sticky and sustainable.

Unless you plan on Eating it

“Unless you plan on eating it, please don’t bring your phone to our dinner table.”

—Author Unknown

No Phone Zone Image

Digital distraction is at epidemic levels. It is so out of hand that we now hear of multiple people committing suicide because they are unable to get their “digital fix.”


How and in what ways can and will you draw the line and establish boundaries that cannot be crossed, to prevent this heads-down world from infecting your life and the lives of those you love?

Please consider the dinner table as a place to begin and then expand further to regain the peace and sanity you seek.

Don’t Let Yesterday

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

-Will Rogers, 19th/20th Century American Cowboy, Vaudevillian, and Humorist

Image from denvertent.com

Image from denvertent.com

Imagine you are planning to take a hike, climb a hill, or even scale a mountain. Your goal is to go as far as you can and see all the beauty along the way. Unfortunately, you have chosen to carry a very heavy backpack filled with too many weighty issues from your past.


What can you do to lighten your load and carry fewer yesterdays, in order to make the best out of each and every day ahead?